Chillicothe Fire Department receives updated, improved ranking

The Chillicothe Fire Department (CFD) recently received an updated ISO rating, the department's best-ever, of 4 was released in a report of the Insurance Services Office, dated July 29. The department also received a perfect 100 out of 100 in the category of “Operational Considerations.”

A press release by Chillicothe city Administrator Darin Chappell said, "The Chillicothe Fire Department has been recognized as achieving a reduced ISO rating of 3, dropping from the 4 rating of just four years ago, placing Chillicothe in the top 15th percentile of communities surveyed in 2019," Chappell said. "This new rating is the best level CFD has ever attained, and we are very proud of the effort, training, and increased professionalism that led to this recognition.

An ISO fire insurance rating also referred to as a fire score or Public Protection Classification (PPC), is a score from 1 to 10 that indicates how well-protected the community is by their local fire department. In the ISO rating scale, a lower number is better: 1 is the best possible rating, while a 10 means the fire department did not meet the ISO's minimum requirements.

The Public Protection Classification (PPC) survey analyzes the staffing levels, training and location fo the firehouse; availability of water supply including the number of fire hydrants and how much water is available for fire suppression. The quality of the communities 911 emergency communications system and community outreach about fire prevention s also included in the score.

Chappell said the "Strong efforts of Chillicothe Municipal Utilities (CMU), led by General Manager Jim Gillilan and Water Superintendent, Randy Hamilton, have made a tremendous impact on this process."

This new rating could also mean a reduction in homeowners' insurance crates for area homeowners.

"The ISO improvement should translate into a reduction of property owners’ insurance premiums at a rate of 4-8 percent," Chappel said, adding that commercial properties could be on the higher end of the savings scale.

Each insurance carrier sets its own rates so savings could vary.

The CFD was last ranked and examined in 2015, ad received a rating of 4, down from the previous rating of 5.

Chappell noted that typically, an ISO analysis is provided every 10 years, but in cases of marked changes in fire department capacities, an earlier examination can be obtained.

"This newer rating shows just how rapidly CFD is doing the hard work necessary to offer the finest fire suppression protection to Chillicothe," Chappell said. "While it is due to the efforts of the entire fire department that such an increase in reliability and effectiveness has been recognized, Chief Darrell Wright, and Assistant Chief Eric Reeter (now serving as interim fire chief) have been instrumental in the successes attained. Chief Wright has been the force behind the ongoing efforts to professionalize, train, and equip the fire department for many years, and we have long been blessed to have him at the helm of this ever-improving fire department for our community."